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Apple joins President Obama's 'SupplierPay' initiative aimed at boosting U.S. small business

The Obama administration announced on Friday that Apple is one of a number of U.S. corporations —including Coca-Cola and IBM —that have agreed to pay smaller component suppliers more quickly in an effort to increase cash flow throughout the supply chain.

Dubbed "SupplierPay," the new program is a private-sector extension of QuickPay, a federal initiative designed to ensure that small contractors are paid within 15 days of submitting an invoice. This enhanced cash flow helps small businesses avoid the need to borrow money, the government says, increasing their chances to prosper.

"For the larger companies, joining SupplierPay demonstrates a recognition that a healthy supply chain is good for business," the White House said in a release. "For the small business suppliers, benefiting from SupplierPay means having more capital to invest in new opportunities, new equipment, and new hiring."

According to the White House, companies often take as long as two months to pay their suppliers. This restricts the smaller firms' ability to make capital investments or even pay subcontractors without accessing credit, where debt service obligations can make it yet more difficult to operate.

Apple has long been seen as an advocate for supply chain responsibility, releasing an annual report on the subject that details its efforts to enforce its Supplier Code of Conduct throughout its hundreds of contractors.

Though much of the company's attention is focused on issues like child labor and conflict minerals in developing nations, it has also worked to address labor problems at home. Apple's all-new Mac Pro is manufactured at a facility in Texas, for instance, not far from a Samsung-owned plant that fabricates A-series processors for iOS devices.